Imagine noticing discrepancies in your company’s finances and reporting it to your supervisor, but nothing happens. Your next step would be to escalate the issue to a higher-ranking employee, but you may be hesitant to do so because you risk job loss.
Firing an employee for reporting a company’s illegal activities is against the law. Yet, this doesn’t stop some employers from terminating employees who speak up. If you find yourself in this situation and can’t afford to lose your job, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your livelihood.
What you need to know before speaking up
California state encourages employees to speak up against any illegal activities their employers are engaging in and provides legal protections for whistleblowers.
- Protection from any rules, regulations or policies that a company may enforce to prevent an employee from speaking up against possible state or federal violations
- Protection from employer retaliation for exercising their rights as a whistleblower or for refusing to participate in an illegal activity
A whistleblower is an employee who discloses a company’s illegal practices, violations or noncompliance to the appropriate agency. If you report your employer’s fraudulent accounting practices and they retaliate by firing, threatening, demoting, suspending or harassing you, there is a chance you may recover damages.
Even if you are wrong and there is no illegal activity occurring at your workplace, the law still protects you from retaliation.
Can you whistle blow anonymously?
Employees who blow the whistle in Los Angeles can remain anonymous. However, it is possible that the company may discover your identity or that the case may become public. If it becomes a big case, you may also need to provide more information during investigations.
Whistleblowing can help stop unethical behavior and corruption in the workplace. Still, the decision to report is difficult because of how complex the situation can become. If you are a whistleblower and your employer terminated or retaliated against you for your actions, consider speaking to an attorney about your options.